The landlord of one of North Devon’s quirkiest pubs has put himself in the running to become the area’s next MP.

Steve Cotten is standing as an independent candidate in North Devon. Picture: Matt SmartSteve Cotten is standing as an independent candidate in North Devon. Picture: Matt Smart

Steve Cotten is standing as an independent candidate in the upcoming General Election.

Mr Cotten runs The Poltimore Arms near Brayford, a pub which generates its own electricity and gets its water from a spring.

Before taking on the pub seven years ago he ran the village store in Bratton Fleming.

Speaking to the Gazette, Mr Cotten admitted standing for election was 'a bit of fun' to start, but he is now serious about representing North Devon.

Steve Cotten is standing as an independent candidate in North Devon. Picture: Matt SmartSteve Cotten is standing as an independent candidate in North Devon. Picture: Matt Smart

"I'm standing to represent all of North Devon, not just the interests of Parliament," he said.

"I have worked and struggled and I know what it's like at the bottom end.

"It was a bit of fun to start with but from day one people started writing me off and I thought 'I'm not having this'.

"Somebody else asked me how I was going to get elected in four weeks. I said: 'Well they can't organise getting out of Europe.'"

Steve Cotten is standing as an independent candidate in North Devon. Picture: Matt SmartSteve Cotten is standing as an independent candidate in North Devon. Picture: Matt Smart

Mr Cotten, who voted 'leave' in the Brexit referendum, said the remote pub would serve as his campaign office and, if elected, his constituency office. He has pledged not to get a second home in London and will make sure other MPs do not get money for theirs.

He believes some of the biggest issues facing North Devon are schools, housing and 'unbelievably low wages'.

"Nobody can afford to buy a house," he said.

"People are working unbelievably long hours and struggling to survive. The infrastructure, roads, farming, it's all a massive problem.

"I really will air my views, whether I get a shot or not. People can be too scared to say anything because they have got too much to lose, but I will be able to say it for them.

"Someone else asked what happens if I get in. I said I will.

"People ask what I could do as one independent candidate too, but what happens if 30 get elected? It will be the third biggest political party in the country. It can happen."

The General Election on December 12 will see the North Devon constituency contested by Mr Cotten, Selaine Saxby for the Conservative Party, Alex White for the Liberal Democrats, Finola ONeill for the Labour Party, Robbie Mack for the Green Party.